BC ECONOMIC NEWS: New BC Economic Plan Positive – Private Sector Partnerships and Tax Reform are Key to Success

The BC Government unveiled their BC Economic Plan today. It outlined the government’s priorities to enhance innovation, grow the economy, and ensure that we fill the skills gap. This plan comes before the 2022 BC Budget release on February 22.

“The Surrey Board of Trade looks forward to continuing on economic projects with this plan. We were pleased to hear about investments in skills training, childcare, housing, tourism, schools, hospitals, and transportation investments,” said Anita Huberman, President & CEO, Surrey Board of Trade. “Next week’s budget concurrent with this economic plan needs to focus on a review of BC’s tax system, which is long overdue.”

Further, the details of the plan in the future need to be parallel with the Surrey Board of Trade’s 10 Point Economic Plan in the areas of:
1. Healthcare
2. Education
3. International trade & supply chains
4. Stimulus
5. Government efficiency
6. Financial accountability
7. Preparation for the next crisis now
8. Data & analytics to help all businesses and reduce citizen inequalities
9. Government employees – a smarter way to work
10. Private sector partnerships


·       Inclusive Growth

o   New actions include:

Launching the Future Ready: Skills for the Jobs of Tomorrow plan.

Accelerating the timeline to connect all BC communities to high-speed internet.

Creating a Small Business Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan.

Collaborating on an Indigenous Economic Development Agency.

Building a new Trades and Technology Complex at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

·       Clean Growth

o   New actions include:

Developing a Mass Timber Action Plan.

Creating a Life Sciences and Biomanufacturing Strategy.

Engaging on a Trade Diversification Strategy Establishing Integrated Marketplaces to amplify innovation and connect local businesses with customers.

Creating an Industrial and Manufacturing Action Plan.

Establishing an ESG Centre of Excellence to promote Environmental, Social and Governance principles for products and services.

Creating an Agritech Centre of Excellence.

Initiating a Goods Movement Strategy.

·       Supporting People and Families

o   Key actions include:

Keeping people safe as we navigate through and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cutting ICBC rates, eliminating MSP premiums, free bus travel for children, eliminating interest on student loans, and taxing housing speculators.

Expanding quality affordable childcare.

Creating thousands of new spaces at our universities, colleges and institutes, expanding co-op programs and graduate student scholarships.

Supporting workers and rural communities transition into new industries.

Increasing income and disability assistance, doubling of the senior’s supplement, and supporting vulnerable families.

Implementing five days of paid sick leave to help keep businesses safe, open and thriving.

Increasing the minimum wage and closing the gender pay gap.

Delivering on a Pathway to Hope, a roadmap for making mental health and addictions care better for people.

Introducing new anti-racism data legislation that will pave the way for fair and better services.

·       Building Resilient Communities

o   Key actions include:

Building 9,000 more family homes through the Housing Hub.

Expanding transit and building modern, low-carbon economic infrastructure.

Connecting communities to each other and the digital economy by expanding high-speed internet connectivity.

Supporting BC’s next generation of construction workers with Community Benefit Agreements.

Improving accessibility and working to remove barriers for everyone in BC.

Building health facilities like the new urgent and primary care centres, and new cancer centres in Surrey and Kamloops.

Upgrading and building new schools across the province.

Helping food entrepreneurs grow their businesses through shared-use equipment at Food Hubs.

Ongoing support for BC’s thriving television and film industry — the greenest in the world.

Strengthening community resilience through a new climate preparedness and adaptation strategy.

·      Fostering Innovation Across our Economy

o   Key actions include:

Helping high-potential businesses grow in BC through InBC, a $500-million strategic investment fund that will deliver economic, environmental and social returns.

Creating the new BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy.

Positioning BC to be a world leader on quantum computing by creating the Quantum Algorithms Institute at Simon Fraser University.

Developing a Coastal Marine Strategy, Wild Salmon Strategy and Watershed Security Strategy.

Creating 2,000 new tech-relevant spaces in public post-secondary institutions on top of the 2,900 new tech spaces already created.

Working with government and business leaders from both sides of the border, through the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, to create a global model for sustainable growth.

Investing in BC-based carbon capture and storage and other low carbon technologies.

Developing a long-term provincial shipbuilding strategy to ensure continued growth and jobs.

Developing an intellectual property strategy to support the growth and innovation of BC companies.

The StrongerBC Economic Plan advances:

1.     The StrongerBC Training Initiatives to support economic recovery.

2.     The creation of 2,000 new tech-relevant spaces in public post-secondary institutions on top of the 2,900 tech seats already created.

3.     The expansion of student seats in high opportunity sectors such as healthcare, high-tech, life sciences and agritech.

4.     Support programs to help workers, First Nations and communities through economic transition.

5.     Support for Indigenous Post-Secondary Institutes and skills training.

6.     More graduate scholarships and internships for innovation.

7.     A digital services hub so British Columbians can more easily access education and training for in-demand jobs.

8.     Expanding training for healthcare workers.

The BC Government will also enhance its hydrogen strategy by:

·       Incentivizing the production of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen.

·       Developing regional hydrogen hubs where production and demand are co-located.

·       Financial supports for deploying fuel cell electric vehicles and infrastructure.

·       Expanding the use of hydrogen across different industrial sectors and applications.

·       Promoting the adoption of hydrogen in areas where it is most cost-effective in terms of emission reductions.

·       Creating the BC Centre for Innovation and Clean Energy to drive the commercialization of new hydrogen technology.

Learn more about the StrongerBC Economic Plan here.


Anita Huberman, 604-634-0342,